Contributing to two schemes promises a happy ending

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Fiona Elliott is in her mid-forties and single. She works part- time teaching German at university and is also a freelance translator specialising in catalogues and books on modern German art.

"I am half Scottish and half German. Perhaps this background predisposes me to financial conservatism. But I also come from a generation of women who were perhaps the first to be fully aware that they might have to make all their own financial arrangements. My mother urged me to start a pension plan for my self-employed earnings which I did some 15 years ago.

"At present I pay pounds 50 a month and I am satisfied by how it's gone up in value. I am also a member of the scheme for university staff. This has the benefit of paying a fixed percentage of my final earnings when I reach retirement. Right now, I am reviewing my contribution levels to both these types of pension.

"Recently, I inherited a small sum which I may well use to top these up. As I'm still single, I feel that this pension provision will give some real protection in old age. Saving money this way may seem dull, but I plan on being around to enjoy it when I need it."